With increased legislation, local landscape irrigation restrictions and persistent droughts, drip irrigation is a water-efficient solution for irrigating more plants with less water. Because drip applies water directly to the plant’s root zone, it is not affected by wind and evaporation. When compared to above ground sprays and rotors, drip can save 30 to 50 percent by applying water more efficiently—making it a smart choice in the East Valley. We give consideration to the following elements in order to maximize the water savings benefits of each drip irrigation system we install.
1. Soil type. Soil type is the number one consideration in determining dripline emitter gallonage, emitter spacing and drip line spacing. Dripline zones should be designed to match both plant water requirements and soil infiltration rates.
2. Hydraulics. Drip irrigation systems with too little flow and pressure are among the most common irrigation challenges. Although drip is “low-volume and low pressure,” you must apply the same hydraulic principles as you would with spray and rotor designs. Always refer to the manufacturer’s specifications and guidelines to ensure that you don’t exceed dripline run lengths based upon inlet pressure.
3. Application rates. Knowing the application rate of your dripline zone is critical to programming the irrigation controller correctly. It allows you to correctly setup an ET based controller or program a non-smart controller with the appropriate amount of time to apply the right amount of water.
4. Troubleshooting and maintenance. A common misconception with drip irrigation is that it is high maintenance. All irrigation systems require periodic maintenance to inspect the backflow device, re-adjust sprinklers and rotary heads or make seasonal adjustments to the controller. With drip irrigation systems, the sprinkler adjustment process is replaced by inspection of the filter and cleaning if necessary, along with visually ensuring that the drip zone is operating properly. Installation of an operation indicator is a low cost way to verify that a dripline zone has adequate pressure and is operating correctly.
We offer homeowners three viable options when considering installing a new drip irrigation system. Click on one of the following to learn more:
Several cities across the Phoenix area offer homeowners generous incentives for employing sustainable irrigation practices. Click here to learn more about the rebates your city offers.